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Minorities at Duke....

dpattzloverdpattzlover Posts: 1,215Registered User Senior Member
edited March 2009 in Duke University
Okay, so I am an RD applicant to Duke and have not yet been accepted, but I am quite interested in the University. I have had my alum interview (which went very well!) and have done quite a bit of research online and spoken with current students. I am visiting this spring break (road trip!) and am wondering if anyone here could give me input on how minorities are treated and how they feel on the Duke campus?

Let me give you some background --> I am 1/2 American Indian and am an involved member of my tribe. From my interview, I know there aren't many Native undergrads (he in fact said this might help me get admitted) and most Native applicants come from North Carolina. Unlike Stanford (my other top choice) it seems like there isn't a very established Native community, but that is something that I would be willing to work on if I went there! Again from my interview, I know diversity at Duke has improved a lot (at least since he attended) and they are quite proud of this fact. I also saw that there are currently 15 American Indian undergrads at Duke. Ay. haha, but, just curious, how do you think being part of the Duke community would be for me? As there are so few Natives even in the US, I am used to being a minority (though I have always been accepted and respected by people here in Minnesota), but am just curious as to how minorities are treated at Duke? People say that at Vandy there is a certain amount of "self-segregation".....is this a practice at Duke as well?

Thanks!
Post edited by dpattzlover on

Replies to: Minorities at Duke....

  • singersmomsingersmom Posts: 336Registered User Junior Member
    There is a YouTube video filmed at Duke about Self Segregation. You can find it by using these words in your favorite search engine: "duke university"+"self segregation."

    Duke is a very diverse school in terms of ethnic background as well as economic background. About 45% of students at Duke receive some form of financial aid.

    My student met a Native American student at Duke whose biggest concern was that they were the only member of their tribe at Duke and therefore there was no one to share their tribal or religious rituals with.

    My advice - pick the campus where you will receive the support you need during your college years to be successful. If an established Native American community is important to you then you might be happier at a university where the community already exists.
  • dpattzloverdpattzlover Posts: 1,215Registered User Senior Member
    Thanks for the info singersmom!
  • johnsmithcollegejohnsmithcollege Posts: 199Registered User Junior Member
    I think its important to have friends of the same ethnicity as oneself (in your case Native Americans), but also part of the college experience entails reaching out to people of other ethnic backgrounds (that's why colleges aim to have ethnic diversity). You really should not worry too much about the few number of Native Americans, just have fun in college and make friends with everyone you can. Keep in mind that if you want to associate with Native Americans that much, then you yourself are promoting self-segregation. And I hardly doubt that students discriminate against Native Americans so choose a college for other reasons.
  • dpattzloverdpattzlover Posts: 1,215Registered User Senior Member
    Lol, I suppose this is true JohnSmith. I have many friends (of different races) at my school now.....I guess it's just nice to have a strong base to fall back on....
  • Run2StandStill01Run2StandStill01 Posts: 18Registered User New Member
    dpattzlover,

    I'm a fellow RD American Indian applicant...registered with the Cherokee tribe, but am from NY, not NC...Which tribe are you with, out of curiosity?

    Good Luck!!!!
  • dpattzloverdpattzlover Posts: 1,215Registered User Senior Member
    Oh, that's great to hear! Lol, I thought I was alone on this forum. Anyway, I'm from Chippewa Lac du Flambeau in Wisconsin. Hey, I'm going to PM you so we can chat, all right?
  • Run2StandStill01Run2StandStill01 Posts: 18Registered User New Member
    I logged off right after applying, sorry...Sure, feel free to PM me :)
  • GabbaGabbaHeyGabbaGabbaHey Posts: 186Registered User Junior Member
    I see more threads in the Duke forum about minority identity and minority self-segregation than I can recall ever seeing in most of the forums for other schools here on CC. Is there an issue at Duke with minority students tending to self-segregate on campus? Does the Duke administration go out of its way to administratively segregate the minority students through special programs that foil attempts for a socially integrated student body? Just wondering. My sis has applied to Duke, and one of her criteria for whatever school she chooses is that it be a diverse environment. Will she find it difficult to break into the enclaves that exist around each of the various ethnic groups at Duke? Just curious -- can anyone currently at Duke comment?
  • Senator NoodlesSenator Noodles Posts: 589Registered User Member
    Gabba, self-segregation is a pretty obvious problem at Duke. A lot of the time, it happens because many of the international students at Duke knew each other back home. Logically then, when they find themselves in a new country, they tend to hang out with the people they already know. As a result, (especially freshman year), you tend to see a bunch of Korean students hanging out while there would be a group of Chinese, of Singaporeans, etc. It isn't that the students are unfriendly: if you were to try and talk to them, they're perfectly nice. It's just that a lot of the time (not saying always - I have several friends who are international who hang out with both friends from home and friends they met at Duke) they seem to prefer each others' company over that of people they met here.
  • singersmomsingersmom Posts: 336Registered User Junior Member
    Gabba's post is interesting to me because just this morning my D told me how much she appreciates the diversity at Duke! She noted that when one of her classes separates into small groups for discussion how diverse the groups are in ethnic makeup as well as geographic diversity. She has friends of all ethnic backgrounds or groups - Black, Hispanic, Asian, International, etc.
  • dpattzloverdpattzlover Posts: 1,215Registered User Senior Member
    Yeah, Duke definitely has great diversity, but the thing that I fear is self-segregation (and not really a problem for me if there is an average of 4 Native students in a class, I want more than 4 friends ;)!). However, it seems like Noodle offered a good solution --> go up and talk to them!

    Anyway, I think that the diversity of viewpoints is key to an education and I like what I am hearing about Duke in this regard!
  • Senator NoodlesSenator Noodles Posts: 589Registered User Member
    Gabba's post is interesting to me because just this morning my D told me how much she appreciates the diversity at Duke! She noted that when one of her classes separates into small groups for discussion how diverse the groups are in ethnic makeup as well as geographic diversity. She has friends of all ethnic backgrounds or groups - Black, Hispanic, Asian, International, etc.

    As far as breaking up into groups in class and hearing different viewpoints goes, this is definitely true. There is a LOT of diversity at Duke. It's just that in social situations, when everyone's free to do as they wish/hang out with whom they want to, self-segregation begins to occur. And as far as friends of all ethnicities - that's true for me also. I have Asian, white, black, hispanic, etc., friends. And I'm friends with lots of international students also. It isn't impossible (or even hard) to be friends with all sorts of people. BUT there are also definitely lots who prefer (understandably) to hang out with people from their own background and so you will notice people of the same ethnicity walking around, speaking their language, etc. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, only commenting that it does happen.
  • ShrinkrapShrinkrap Posts: 11,541Registered User Senior Member
    My daughter is Black. Her friends are diverse. I think some facebook thing said majority of her friends are Asian.
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